Unless it's summertime, children are spending most of their time at school and while school is a place of safety, it's important for children to have a safe route to and from school each day.
The National Crime Prevention Council has some helpful tips for parents about making the trip to and from school a safer environment.
Walking to school and waiting at bus stops
- Parents should map out a safe way to walk with your children. Try to avoid busy roads and intersections, if possible. Before school starts, do a trail run and point out places they should avoid where they're aren't as many people.
- Teach your children to follow traffic signs and the guidelines for walking and biking.
- Grab a buddy. Urge your children to walk to school with a sibling or friend and wait at the bus stop with other children.
- Teach your children about strangers and make sure they know not to talk to strangers, accept gifts or go anywhere with strangers. If they see a stranger hanging around a school, tell them to tell an adult.
- Go over important phone numbers with your children and make sure they have them memorized, including area code and zip code. It's also helpful to write down important phone numbers for your children to carry with them.
While riding on the school bus
- A good practice is to have your children arrive to the bus top five minutes early.
- Teach your children to stand on the sidewalk or the grass while waiting on the bus.
- Before crossing in front of the bus, make sure your children can see the bus driver and the bus driver can see them. Children should not walk behind the bus.
- Ask questions about their bus ride. Questions such as who they sit with, who they talk to or what the other kids do on the bus.
- Encourage your children to report any bullying or strange behavior to a trusted adult.